Wednesday, September 6, 2006


Does the name evoke http://myspace.com? That's a calculated strategy, right down to the instant messaging, user profile data and thumbnail photos.

The self-billed "place for cookers and cakers," launched a few weeks ago, aspires to be a virtual kitchen table for 25- to 50-year-old cooking enthusiasts. What sets it apart from other recipe-sharing venues online, says founder Babette Pepaj, are its easy-to-read and easy-to-create formats and forums.

"I was looking for a social networking space, but something that was real grass-roots about food," she says. "But the best function on the site is the recipes."

It took Pepaj, a Los Angeles television producer-director who describes herself as an avid amateur cook, about six months to get BakeSpace up and running. Users have to log in as members, but the site is free; an average of 150 users have logged on each day since Aug. 22. So far, BakeSpace members appear keen to swap stories, recipes and home-cook-level advice.

-- Bonnie S. Benwick

© 2006 The Washington Post Company